Stone Voices has announced the release of Sound Art, a completely free picture to sound conversion software application for Windows.
Sound Art is developed by Vasily Makarov of Stone Voices, the programmer behind popular free VST plugins like the PolyGAS granular synthesizer and Brandulator. This time around, the released software isn’t a VST plugin but a standalone application for Windows. Its purpose is to convert images into sounds and vice versa.
So how does the Sound Art software work and what does it do? The application uses Fourier transforms to analyze any image provided by the user and convert it into audio. Likewise, a piece of audio can be converted into an image which can then be processed and manipulated like any other image file on your computer. For example, it is possible to save an audio recording as an image, process the image in a photo editing application like Photoshop and then convert it back into audio to audition the changes. Sound Art exports audio files in WAV format and images in PNG, JPEG, BMP, or TGA formats.
The resulting audio files often sound like something between a soundscape and a glitched out modem recording. More often then not, it’s possible to extract an interesting loop or a rhythmic sequence from the processed image. I’ve only tested the software for a short while before writing this article, but the initial impressions are very positive. I can see Sound Art being used as the starting point for some of my future sound design projects, or even a secret tool for processing beats and synthesizer riffs.
In the SoundCloud clip embedded above, you can hear how Bedroom Producers Blog’s home page sounds when converted to audio using Sound Art. One thing I’ll try later today will be converting a synth bassline into an image, applying some filters and sharpening in Photoshop, and then converting that back to audio to see what happens. Could be fun. If you try something similar, do let me know about the results in the comments section below.
Sound Art can be downloaded completely free of charge from the Stone Voices website. You don’t need to register nor activate the software. The application is only compatible with Windows computers.
Sound Art is available for free download via Stone Voices (31.2 MB download size, ZIP archive, standalone software for Windows).